James 5:14-15 – Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. (NLT)
In 1984, my wife Dana had headaches so bad that some days she could not walk upstairs to the bedroom. These headaches came and went for about two years until the pain was so extreme that she had tests done to see if she had brain cancer. Dana prayed to the Lord for help. A suggestion to see a chiropractor who was a Christian turned into a 30-year friendship. At her first appointment, he identified two pinched nerves in her neck, and his treatment helped to alleviate the pain.
Another time, Dana had a lump in her breast. After a number of visits with specialists, they decided to remove this lump. Dana asked our pastor to organize the elders to come together and pray over her while being anointed with oil in the name of the Lord. After an exhaustive scanning at the hospital, there was no lump to be found. The doctor said, "I do not understand this." My wife informed him of the prayers and laying on of hands at church, and the doctor said, "It does not happen like that."
After having knee surgery, Dana was left with a blood clot, and the specialists set a date to remove it. Once again, Dana requested the elders to pray over her as the pastor anointed her with oil in the name of the Lord at our Sunday worship service. At the hospital, they scanned and scanned using ultrasound, but they could not find the blood clot. The doctor was puzzled and said that he did not have the answer. Dana explained the church service on Sunday and how they had laying on of hands and anointing with oil in the name of the Lord. Once again, the doctor said, "It just doesn't happen that way." Dana had faith, believed in the Lord, turned to God's Scripture for help, and her prayers were answered. God bless our Lord!
Three times, my wife put faith into practice, in obedience calling for the elders to anoint her and to pray; three times God's gracious mercy in healing was manifested and received. "Three times" the apostle Paul sought God's healing for his "thorn in the flesh", but instead was assured, "My grace is sufficient for you." (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV)
Let us embrace the whole counsel of God. James calls us to faith and obedience and promises God's blessing of healing. Paul reminds us, "In view of God's mercy … offer your bodies as living sacrifices … be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer … rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:1,12,15 NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we have a great desire that You would bless us and heal us. May our faith be strong, and may we not be afraid to turn to You for the help that we need. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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